It mattered for my kid -- she got through high school, but the difference in her experience there and at THINK told me everything I needed to know about what we should look for in a college. She doesn't complain often about high school, but the joy she experienced at being in a fast paced, PG-peer group was something I have never seen in her before. And actually, we do have over $100,000 in her college account -- but have been working toward that diligently since she was born. I wouldn't say it is "sitting around", but I would say that we have sacrificed a great deal toward this goal because it was a top priority. That still doesn't pay the bill at a full pay top college, but it puts us in striking distance and gives her options so she does not have to make a choice between high debt and top academics/peers. Or making her wait another four years for the possible relief in grad school if she ends up attending one.

People do what they can afford and they justify it... but if you have younger kids, I still stick by my advice -- figure out how to start saving more now and do it. You won't be sorry.